Photo: Pinetrees Collection

Boats

Superb coastal surprises along the Wild Atlantic Way

Colette Lawlor

Cappanalea OETC

Photo: Pinetrees Collection

Sea kayak along the Wild Atlantic Way

Exploring the coast from the water by kayak is magical. Everything looks different from the cormorants and various gulls to the seals that live in the many coves that we can now access unlike those stuck to the roads above. There is a sense of freedom, being able to move about on the swells and currents that move in and out of the bay daily. The colours of the sea changes from one minute to the next as clouds pass by interrupting the sun or more often the sea reflects the many Reeks regions shades of the sky, and the taste of sea salt off on your skin from a wonderful enjoying a rare freedom in modern life.

The journey from Kells to Cromane has much to offer. This southern side of the bay is often more sheltered and user friendly due to the most common direction of the prevailing winds and swells. The journey is approximately 20km, variances from the amount of exploring done and the optional stop or finish at Rossbeigh will occur from party to party. On the early part of the trip there are a number of small caves, inlets and arches to explore. They also provide a home to seals and a host of seabirds at various times of the year.

As you near Rossbeigh there are a few small beaches accessible only by your kayak, some of these only exist during low water. The sea can have been flat and calm for much of the trip and then the noise and wavebreak of Rossbeigh can inject more than a little excitement for many seakayakers. If you decide not to stop here and continue to Cromane, the trip passes between the two great sand bars of Inch and Rossbeigh. The past few years and the constant pounding of the seas have taken their toll on these magnificent sand dunes. Turning into Castlemaine harbour we get to see the village of Cromane in the distance. Cromane is famous in the area for its mussels and restaurants.

It should be noted that this trip can be done in either direction with wind a tide allowances, but we think the best sense is heading from the wilder west inwards.

Difficulty
Moderate, depending upon conditions
Distance
20 km
Duration
3-4 hours
Official Partner
Cappanalea OETC

Suggested Restaurant & Pub

Jacks' Coastguard Restaurant

Jacks’ Coastguard Restaurant is a fine dining restaurant and bar conveniently located in Cromane, just five minutes from the main Ring of Kerry and Wild Atlantic Way routes, between Killorglin and Glenbeigh, and just 25 minutes from Killarney. This family-run business, in its unique and stunning location, has an exceptional reputation for service and award-winning cuisine, with local seafood a speciality.

Jacks’ Coastguard Restaurant

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